The 3 Best Acoustic Guitars for Beginners 2020

Updated on April 14, 2020
SuperBrainwave LM profile image

Paul has been a passionate player, recorder, and listener of guitar music for over 35 years. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida, USA.

The best acoustic guitars for beginners are easy to play and sound great, read on for my recommendations
The best acoustic guitars for beginners are easy to play and sound great, read on for my recommendations | Source

As both a musician and tutor for many years, I know that for many, if not most people, can find buying their first guitar intimidating. As a beginner, you are faced with a bewildering array of choices and advice, and can easily feel like you just don't know where to start.

Although guitars can look pretty similar to an inexperienced eye, they all have differing qualities and traits, such as how easy they are to play, how expensive they are, and the tone and the quality of the sound that they produce, as well as other features such as their color and size.

The process of choosing and buying can easily feel overwhelming if you are not careful, but generally speaking, most learners need an instrument that is relatively easy to play, have a great sound, but also be relatively inexpensive.

I personally would recommend against selecting an instrument on the basis of its color, or focusing too much on its overall appearance. For sure, there are some very beautiful guitars out there, but these instruments are primarily for making music, as far as I am concerned, and therefore how they play and sound are the most important features, especially for a learner.

Top 3 Beginner Acoustic Guitars

Below are my three 3 selections:

  • The Epiphone DR-100: Reliable Quality for an Excellent Price
  • The Yamaha FG800: Rich Overtones and Kind on the Fingers
  • Seagull S6 Original: Gorgeoust Tone and Great Craftmanship

I go into more details and give my reasons for my choices below.

The Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar
The Epiphone DR-100 Acoustic Guitar

The Epiphone DR-100: Reliable Quality for an Excellent Price

Epiphone are an American company with a long and proud history of guitar making. They were founded by Anastasios Stathopoulos way back in 1873 and were Gibson's main rival up until the 1960's. I've owned and played many of their guitars over the years and find their instruments well built and excellent value for money.

The Epiphone DR-100 has a classic dreadnought shape and is a seasoned bestseller. It has a select spruce top, mahogany neck, back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard. Frankly, you can't go wrong with this instrument, especially when you consider that it's positioned at the more affordable end of the price scale.

My Epiphone DR-100 Pros

  • Very playable, which is essential for a beginner.
  • The solid spruce top gives this guitar a rich resonance and tone.
  • Excellent value for money.
  • Well built and quality wood. This guitar will last forever if you look after it.
  • It punches above its weight for sound quality when you consider it's an affordable guitar.
  • Versatile, it suits most styles, including slide guitar.
  • As a dreadnought, this guitar is relatively large, meaning more fret space and less opportunity for a learner to mess up!


  • I seriously struggle to find any downsides with this guitar. There are better, more expensive guitars, but the DR-100 is difficult to beat within its price range.

The Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Folk Acoustic Guitar.
The Yamaha FG800 Solid Top Folk Acoustic Guitar.

The Yamaha FG800: Rich Overtones and Kind on the Fingers

I have been a huge fan of Yamaha for many years. They make some excellent guitars for all skill levels and various tastes, and make some of the best instruments for beginners. So when my daughter was learning to play the guitar, I bought her a FG800 Acoustic. It's a relatively inexpensive instrument and great for learners.

My daughter loves it, and I love to play it too, when she lets me! The solid sitka spruce top and rosewood fingerboard both contribute towards this instrument looking, sounding and feeling great, it's simply a joy to play.

My Yamaha FG800 Pros

  • An affordable option, plus you can often get some great bundle deals that include a case and other excellent stuff.
  • It holds its tune well, which is good generally, but particularly for beginners.
  • I love the solid solid spruce top which contributes to the great tone. It really sounds amazing for a guitar in this price range.
  • The small body works well for smaller or younger players.

My Yamaha FG800 Cons

  • The action is a little on the high side in my opinion. I ended up getting it lowered from my daughter.

The Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar.
The Seagull S6 Original Acoustic Guitar.

Seagull S6 Original: Gorgeoust Tone and Great Craftmanship

Compared to the other two guitars in my list, the Seagull S6 Original may appear to be a little on the expensive side, but given it actually offers fantastic value for money. You will struggle to find another guitar for under $500 that's made with the same level of craftsmanship. It really is worth every single penny you pay for it, in my opinion.

A dreadnought by nature, the Seagull S6 has an understated beauty about it. It feels sturdy and durable, but delivers a sweet, rich, warm tone.

My Seagull S6 Pros

  • Thanks in part to the wild cherry sides and back, this guitar delivers a sound to die for. If that doesn't inspire you to learn to play, I don't know what will.
  • Holds its tune very well.
  • It's a great guitar for fingerpicking.
  • The rosewood fretboard is kind on the fingers.
  • This guitar will last you well beyond your learner period.

My Seagull S6 Cons

  • I ended up tweaking the set-up a little by changing the string saddle.

6 Best Acoustic Guitar Accessories

As well as your guitar, you might also want to seriously consider investing in:

  1. A strap - This will give you the option of playing your guitar while standing up, as well as seated.
  2. A tuner - Tuning the guitar and keeping it in tune can be very challenging for beginners. Buying an electronic tuner can be a very useful aid. I also know from experience that tuning up in a noisy place can be difficult without the help of a tuner.
  3. A pickup - One of these makes electronically amplifying your instrument relatively easy, enabling you to play larger and noisier venues. It also means that you can record your guitar without the need for a microphone. A pickup also facilitates the use of effects pedals.
  4. A case or bag - These will protect your instrument from potential damage such as scratches and impacts when you are in transit, and can also make transportation much easier. A case is also a great place to keep your guitar when it's not in use.
  5. A capo - This device is fastened to the neck of the guitaris and is a great tool for changing key while keeping the same chord shapes. Changing key is very useful if you are playing with other instruments, or to back a singer.
  6. A book for beginners - Most acoustic players start out learning by making chord shapes and strumming the strings (rather than fingerpicking them). A book that shows diagrams of the most common and also easiest chords can be invaluable for a learner. There are many great pulications out there, but I would particularly recommend The First 100 Chords for Guitar: How to Learn and Play Guitar Chords: The Complete Beginner Guitar Method for learners, which is available for free at the time of writing, if downloaded in a Kindle format.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • What's the best acoustic guitar for a complete beginner?

    I would recommend something from the Takamine G Series. They are reliable and easy to play guitars that offer excellent value for money. They're great for beginners in my experience. My personal favorite is the GD30 dreadnought. It's at the more affordable end of the price range, but it delivers a rich and resonant tone, thanks in part to the solid spruce top. The cutaway body enables me to reach the high frets, which I like when I'm plucking melodies and soloing, rather than strumming chords. It's a solid guitar, which I'm convinced will outlive me.

© 2012 Paul Goodman

New Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lense and suggestions for beginner guitarists!

    • efriedman profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice to see suggestions for entry level players

    • sousababy profile image


      8 years ago

      Music enriches our lives so much - I feel it's essential to try out one instrument, at least. I played piano, however I always felt a guitar would've been better since I could simply carry it with me to a beach party or get together.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      8 years ago

      My son plays guitar. I'll have to show him this.

    • chrisssy profile image


      8 years ago

      Picked up a guitar once, failed miserably. Great lens, maybe i'll try again

    • buttonhead lm profile image

      buttonhead lm 

      8 years ago

      Great list! These are fairly inexpensive too. Thanks!

    • jethrosas profile image


      8 years ago from Philippines

      I love guitars but I'm not playing my guitar in our house a lot. Instead my father plays with it. Anyway, I like your selection of guitars. Keep it up! :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)